Occupational therapy covers a whole range of avenues and Occupational therapy jobs and those performing these roles can vary massively. Over time an occupational therapist will likely find their own specialty, therefore depending on your situation, it is paramount to find one specialising in your relevant area. In this article I want to show some of the variety of occupational therapies out there currently, to show a glimpse of the wide variety it can cover.
You can distinguish two areas that occupational therapy focus on, someone’s daily/personal life and someone’s work life. Occupational therapists usually work with those who have conditions that in one way or another leave them disabled, either in the short term or long term. This often leaves to a lack of fulfillment and/or satisfaction within day to day life. In short, an occupational therapist’s role is to help the individual reach a higher level of independence through working on cognitive and physical functions. This can take the form of helping those with physical disabilities to be able to use a computer for work or helping them manage to cook meals. Or helping those with mental issues, such as short-term memory loss for example, to create methods and coping mechanisms to either help improve their short term memory, or finding new methods to rely on instead.
It is clear to see how these types of disabilities can overlap into affecting both someone’s work life as well as daily life outside the office. Yet, some disabilities, especially those that arise from accidents, can leave some individuals to not be able to return to their profession in any capacity. Thus, occupational therapy can help fill this gap that has been left. It is easy to see how this can have a huge negative effect on an individual, given that your job can be, to some extent, what defines you. Occupational therapists in this regard can help individuals find new professions that are not hindered by their disability, or in some more serious disabilities, find new avenues outside of working that can still give an individual fulfillment, such as volunteering or community projects.
Occupational therapists often also work with children throughout the stages of development. They may work with children under the age of three if they are showing signs of development delay, or working with them at later stages if they are having problem with motor skills that affect things such as writing or eating. Occupational therapy can cover all these areas and many more ways to help individuals get the fulfillment they deserve.